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Auto Train Question and Acela/NEC Questions

Posted by Nilet on Sun Jun 23 20:42:30 2019

So I may finally have a potential trip on offer (and not on the Palmetto).

So quick question regarding the Auto Train: If you're booked in a sleeper, is it possible to access the coach section? Strict segregation is impossible on every other train since the lounge and dining cars are shared, but the Auto Train has separate lounge/diner cars for coach and sleeper, so they could easily keep them separate. When I last rode the Auto Train, they had one of those diner-to-lounge conversion cars on it and if there's one running on mine I'd love to actually get pics of itó but it seems to be luck of the draw when they show up, and having access to the entire train boosts my odds of getting to ride in one however briefly.

If I do take this trip, my car-having companion will not be driving me all the way back to New York, so I'll have to take more trains from Washington DC. I was planning on taking the Acela in first class, since I've never done that before. Is there anybody who has taken Acela in first class and has opinions on whether it's worth it? Whether another option might be preferable to the Acela entirely?

Also, just as a practical question, Acela first class claims to offer at-seat meal service but does this apply to a train that doesn't really cover any mealtimes? Is there any way of knowing the specific menu in advance? (Amtrak's website lists three rotating menus but offers no way to know which will be used on any given day.)

tl;dr version:

1. Can sleeper passengers on the Auto Train access the coach section?

2. Is Acela first class worth it when travelling from WAS to NYP?

3. Is there any way to determine the (first class) lunch/dinner menu for a specific Acela train in advance, or whether lunch/dinner will be served at all on a train that doesn't entirely map to the right time of day for it?

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